Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Why it succeeded (part one)
Before we begin I have to make a confession. I have never played the original Deus Ex or its sequel Invisible War. So I can’t really give you a back story about those games, or tell you that I have experience with the series before this game...
Before we begin I have to make a confession. I have never played the original Deus Ex or its sequel Invisible War. So I can’t really give you a back story about those games, or tell you that I have experience with the series before this game. However, since this is a prequel I don’t need to worry about that. And that is pretty much a plus to this game. A major plus if you ask me. And while this game does have some problems, I will argue that it is the best game of 2011. This analysis is going to be that argument. So let’s get into it. I’m going to break down this game into three main parts. Characters, Story and Gameplay. As always, I can not go into a game and give a deep analysis without spoiling the story for you. So consider this your spoiler warning. While doing this I’m going to point out what really works for this game and the few things that didn’t. When you’re done reading this I hope you will understand why this game is pretty much the best game to be released in the past ten years. For the sake of your sanity I’m only going to talk about the characters essential to the plot. We are going to be looking at David Sarif, Frank Pritchard, William Taggart, Adam Jensen, and Hugh Darrow. I’ll try to avoid allot of spoilers in these parts, though there is still a few here. But when I get to the story I’m going to spoil everything.
Let’s begin with David Sarif. To me David is the best character in this game. He is the most rounded character and has some of the best dialog in the game. Also, if you want to know how to make a character that is in charge and doesn’t tie down the gameplay, David is the perfect example. David is the head of Sarif industries, a leading company in human argumentation. As such, he is your boss. Basically calling the shots and telling you what you need to do in order to advance the story. That isn’t to say that he takes away your freedom of choice as a character. In fact, I would argue that David gives you more freedom in game then most games without someone to give you orders. For example, early on in the game during the tutorial, David gives you an option of what kind of weapon you want and how you’re going to handle a situation. He tells you what your objective is and that you can handle it anyway you want. Most games would force you to do things a certain way, going as far as to giving you a game over screen if you don’t do it the way the developers intend. David is basically used to let you know that even though you have a goal, you can handle it anyway you want.
As I said, David is my most favorite character, here’s why. He defies so many clichés. When you first see him in the game you might suspect him as being the big bad guy. But he isn’t. While allot of games, movies and books make the boss the main villain and an asshole, this game doesn’t. David might be passionate about what he does, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about people. Early on in the game your characters body is pretty much destroyed. If he doesn’t get augmented he is going to die. David pretty much reaches into his own pocket to pay for the augments and the surgery himself. I would even go as far as to say that he is very intelligent because of what he does before hiring Jensen. That is hiring a private detective (PD) to do a background cheek on that character. He does this because Adam Jensen is going to be his head of security. If you think about it, everyone should do something like that when hiring for a position like that. Though he isn’t perfect. He does have some gray areas. Again we have to look at the surgery. Throughout the game it is implied that Jensen might have had unneeded augments added to him. This is strongly suggested through a side mission where Jensen goes after the same PD. I bring up the whole PD thing because David did do something stupid while setting up away to get the information. He created a way for the PD to access his companies computers without letting his tech guy know. While the PD didn’t use this to get more money or something like that, the villains of the story did find a way to “piggy back” off it. Which they used to attack Sarif Industries. Really, that’s the only stupid thing he does, but that doesn’t make him stupid. Of cores he could have really done this because he might be part of the Illuminati. For those of you who don’t know. There is a theory going around the internet that David Sarif might be part of the Illuminati and there is some good evidence to back up this claim. However, since it isn’t conformed I’m not really going to go into it. I just wanted to make people aware about it. (If you want I’ll write another blog about it latter.)
(You wouldn’t believe all the yaoi fan art I found looking for this one picture.)
Like I said David set up a signal that made it easy for people to hack his computers and attack his company. He should have told Frank Pritchard about it. Frank Pritchard is David’s computer expert. His job is pretty much simple to comprehend. In that he keeps all the computer equipment in cheek. Making sure no one hacks through the fire wall and keeping the systems up to date. He also helps Jensen throughout the game by being the tech guy, keeping him informed about the surrounding area Jensen is in. He is also “that guy.” You know what I mean. The guy that is an asshole, but you can’t help but respect because of how good he is at his job. Pritchard comes off as someone who doesn’t like Jensen but knew he had to work with him no matter what. So right off the back he comes off as a jerk and it takes you a while to warm up to him. Let me elaborate. In Prichard’s first scene he pretty much lets you know what he thinks of Adam. In that he didn’t think highly of him. And it shucked him to learn that Jensen knew something of computers. However, he always takes any chance he can to make fun of Jensen. But as the game goes on he starts to see that Jensen is someone to respect. It’s also done in a very realistic way. Since he has to work with Jensen he is constantly communicating with him. Prichard as a character works. I would explain further, but I would be going to much into the story before I want to. Just realize that we will come back to him much latter on. Until then let’s look at another character.
(Man does this guy look pissed. I couldn’t find a better picture of this guy? What is wrong with me?)
If you want to look at how to handle an issues and make it controversial you need to have a character like William Taggart. What I really like about this guy is that he isn’t some ass hat that thinks the way he does because he’s evil or something like that. In fact, he isn’t evil. He is probably the best example of how to make your central plot work. Taggart is against unregulated argumentation. So much so that he started the Human Front movement. A group of people who think that argumentation should be regulated. They also think argumentation should have less of an impacted on the world. Something that I think really brings out his character is that he doesn’t hate people who have been augmented. And this comes off as a shock because his wife was killed by an augmented person. A little cliché, but it isn’t to much so in that he doesn’t take violent action against argumentation. I guess I should bring this up. When someone has to go through argumentation surgery they have to take a certain drug. Most do become addicted to this and it can cause them to go insane without it. That’s what caused the death of his wife. Someone needed this drug and he was willing to killing to get it. I think this might be because Taggart is a scaliest who deals with people with this condition everyday. He even deals with people who have had argumentation rejection. Which is the worst thing that can happen to someone, according to this game. So he knows and understands the problem these people have. Taggart only wants to help and he feels that it’s his duty to do so. What makes him work is his dedication to this cause. Even if you don’t agree with Taggart you can still understand him and really see what he is trying to do. You might even grow to like him. The only problem I have with the character is that his points aren’t as drawn out as the other sides is. I kind of feel that it was a missed opportunity. I wish he got more screen time so we could see his views a little more strongly.
(I never asked fo… Over used joke is over used.)
I can’t really go to much into Adam Jensen until I hit on the story but I will explain his character as best I can. I guess I’ll just point out a few things about him. Jensen is the player character and at the beginning of the game he gets throw through some glass while the company he works for is being attacked. This glass is three inches thick and basically destroys his body. Not to forget that he also get shot in the head afterwards. Because of this he has to get augmented or he will die. All this happened right after became head of security for Sarif Industries. His objective in the game is to find the people who attack Sarif Industries and what their goal behind the attack was. What he discovers isn’t what it appears to be at first. But I will get into that latter in the next part. What I will talk about is just how much character Adam has. I can’t really tell if he is against augmentation or not, but I can tell that he is someone that doesn’t want to really get too involved with the whole debate. Only problem is that he kind of becomes the debate. I wont go too much into it now but, Jensen is named Adam for a reason. I guess if I want to talk about him it would have to be about how I feel Jensen about him. Kind of fails as a character. That is because he doesn’t really have many character defining moments. I would even go as far as to say that he is mostly flat as a charter. I say “kind of” because I understand why they did this. They wanted to give the player a feeling of control, but it ultimately made him feel like less of a character because of that. There are some moments where he does have some character defining moments. Like trying to stop a man from killing himself by talking him out of it. Or by confronting David about the security breach on the computers. Though really he doesn’t have enough moments like those to truly give him a unique feel as a character. I don’t hate Jensen, and really I can’t see how the game would have worked if he did have more of a character. Still, I would have liked to see more defining moments. In fact the only time you see Jensen have any real character development is through a side mission. Which I will briefly touch on. In that I will only mention one thing. He meets the person who helped him out when he was young. After that he asks Preacher to get someone to protect her. That’s it. Do you see what I mean? This doesn’t ruining the game, it just feels a like a bit of a let down. But since I have that out of the way I guess I could tell you about the Jensen I played as.
My Jensen was someone of sound reason. He didn’t want to take valiant action unless he had to… until I got to something. At first I would just sneak by. But once I got a silencer and a pistol with armor piercing rounds. I saw myself become a monster. I would kill everyone and not give the game a chance to spot me. So I start a new game. Then I put it up to a higher level. Game didn’t seem to like that move too much. More on that latter. But, do you see why I mentioned it? This is one of those things that kind of take away from the character. But this isn‘t all bad. It’s more of a mixed bag. Needless to say, I didn’t hate Jensen. I’m just not a big fan of his type of character. It is a bit of a disappointment. You are living the world through this guys eyes. So, wouldn’t that imply that he has his own thoughts? But then again, this is only what I think works as a character. So it’s really just a nitpick at best. This next thing though. I don’t really know what to think about it.
(I’m just going to spoiler this right now. Hugh Darrow is… )
Wait. I’m not going to do that. I’m going to say this though. When you find out what I found out about him…. You’re going to get really confused. Not because it doesn’t make sense. But because it doesn’t seem to be very strong. Hugh is more of an unseen figure in the game. You kind of run in on him talking with David once. Then you hear an interview he is having with a news reporter about a project he is working on. Then you see him in person twice. Even if you don’t get to interacted with him all that much he is still in the game in someway. So there is that at least. What I’m trying to say is, I don’t know if it’s a mix bag or not. I don’t even know if I like it or not. What I do know is this. I didn’t really feel that it was justified. In that I couldn’t believe that Hugh would do something like that. And it’s really because of this that I don’t like him. Not because the game doesn’t want you to. It’s because he really is just there to move the story. He usually shows up in the story while you’re tying to do some intense gameplay section. So really his appearance isn’t felt all to well. The first time you run into him you don’t get enough time to see any character growth. I don’t think he was much of a character.
(I know you guys want to know about some more characters. So I’ll mention a few more.)
First there is Malik, she is your pilot. She is a likable character, other then getting you from point A to point B, she doesn’t have much baring on the story. I like her, though.
Eliza Cassan is a news reporter and important to the story, but I don’t want to talk about her just yet.
Tong Si Hung is an owner of a night club. He is also a very powerful man in lower Hengsha. I don’t want to give to much away about him. He does have some bearing on the story. We have talked long enough about characters. Though I know I should talk about him. I kind of respect the man because of what he is. I just don’t know what to really say about him. Mainly because I don’t really know what to think about him.
The bosses felt like a missed opportunity and didn’t have any characterization at all. And they where the worst thing about this game.
Zhao Yun Ru is one of the main antagonist but other then being the owner of a rival company there isn’t much to her. She is also a boss fight and is treated a little better then the other ones. Her only characteristic is that she is greedy.
Megan Reed didn’t have any characteristics at all. In fact, She’s important. Though you don’t see much of her. Which is a shame because they talk about her all the time. She was Jensens ex and is thought to be dead after Sarif industries is attacked, along with her with her science team.
So there it is. The characters of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I like most of them and they are good characters. For the most part. I just wish most of them where giving more time in the spot light. Mainly Megan Reed because of the impacted she has on the story. If you have anything to say leave a comment below. I like feed back. Also, what did you do while playing through this game your first time? Let me know. I want to see how many play styles are used for this game.